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Colorado Juvenile Law – When Your Child Is Arrested – What To Do – A Guide For Parents

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer

Colorado Juvenile Law - When Your Child Is Arrested - What To Do - A Guide For ParentsColorado Juvenile Law – When Your Child Is Arrested – What To Do – A Guide For Parents – While being arrested is one of the most traumatic experiences you can go through in life – having your child – son or daughter – arrested is a much worse experience.

The call usually takes the form of a call from a sheriff at the jail in the middle of the night.

If you are the typical parent whose child has never been in serious trouble in the past – you will have no idea how any of this works.

All parents know that their children can be impulsive -even reckless at times. They will make decisions based on “inexperienced thinking.” They are seeking the path to adulthood and their decisions reflect illogical choices. On occasion – those decisions lead to arrests for the alleged commission of crimes.

When Your Child Is Arrested – A Time When A Parent Needs To “Parent” – And Not To Judge

This may be one of the critical moments for you as a parent – you must try hard to set a good example for your son or daughter.

When your child is arrested – (and this needs to be said now) – that arrest is probably one of the most traumatic experiences he or she will ever experience. This is not an “I knew it” or an  “I told you so” moment. This is the time to love your child more than you ever have loved him or her in the past.

Your responsibility as a parent may never be more difficult. Your family is in trouble and it may be a situation where you will need to be pro-active in seeking help for your child. If your child actually committed a serious crime – there will not be sufficient time to understand the full ramifications of that fact. It may be that you will find out things about your child you never knew and the unique set of values and characteristics you thought characterized your child may have suffered a temporary set back without your knowledge.

This is the time to show your child that you understand the seriousness of the situation – and that  you will support him in every way possible.

Educate Yourself About The Colorado Juvenile Justice System

Helping others understand Colorado criminal law is why I write these articles almost every week. As a parent – you need answers – and you need them now. You need to educate yourself right away to take measures to protect your child and to make certain that he or she has every right enforced …and protected and every benefit that is available to his or her defense – applied.

The Colorado Juvenile Justice System can be expensive, confusing, frightening, emotionally draining and at times unjust, unfair and unpredictable.

First Steps Following Your Child’s Arrest

Colorado law states the purpose of creating the Colorado juvenile justice system:

Purpose of the Juvenile System C.R.S Section 19- 2- 102)

The intent of article 19 of the C.R.S. known as the juvenile code is to protect, restore, and improve the public safety by creating a system of juvenile justice that will appropriately sanction juveniles who violate the law and, in certain cases, will also provide the opportunity to bring together affected victims, the community and the juvenile offenders for restorative purposes.

Further, while holding paramount the public safety, the juvenile justice system shall take into consideration the best interests of the juvenile, the victim, and the community in providing appropriate treatment to reduce the rate of recidivism in the juvenile justice system and to assist the juvenile in becoming a productive member of society.

Notice that the protection of the community is paramount. This is a relatively recent change in juvenile criminal jurisprudence. While the goal that a child be “appropriately” sanctioned – sounds lofty – nothing could be farther from the truth.

A juvenile in the Colorado juvenile justice system can suffer consequences that are lifelong in appropriate steps are not taken to protect that juvenile from well meaning prosecutors and judges.

This article assumes your child was not immediately released to you pending a summons to appear in Court after arrest. This article assumes he or she is held in custody for the next steps in the system. If your child is immediately released – they have their freedom and at least the traumatic nature of the process is greatly reduced.

A Juvenile Rights Upon Arrest – The Advisement Given To All Juveniles In Court When They Are Arrested

The following ” first advisement” is read to the group of juveniles who appear in custody after arrest.

The advisement covers your child’s basic rights in Colorado juvenile court – it is fairly COMPREHENSIVE in that regard and is worth reading:

You have the right to remain silent and not talk about your case. If you give up your right to remain silent, anything you say to anyone can be used against you in court.

You have the right to have a lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer and you qualify under the Supreme Court guidelines, the court will appoint a lawyer to represent you free.

If you are in custody, you may have the right to bail as determined by the court.

If you are charged with a delinquent act or crime, that is a Class 1,2, or 3 felony, a felony which carries with it mandatory sentencing upon conviction, a crime of violence, or a sexual offense, you have the right to a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to believe you committed the delinquent act or crime charged. In all other felony cases, you do not have a right to a preliminary hearing unless you are in custody.

If the court does not set a preliminary hearing in your case you will be able to have a pre-trial conference to discuss your case.

If you are charged with a delinquent act or crime, you have the right to plead not guilty and to have a trial in front of me a juvenile court magistrate, or a district court judge. Only those juveniles charged with a crime of violence and those juveniles alleged to be aggravated juvenile offenders can demand a jury trial.

A jury trial must be held within six months of saying, “not guilty.”

A non-jury trial must be held within sixty days of saying, “not guilty.”

If you are charged with a crime of violence as defined by the Colorado Revised Statutes it will be in front of a jury of six (6). If you are alleged to be an aggravated juvenile offender or if you are ultimately charged as an adult in adult district court it will be in front of a jury of twelve (12).

At a trial, you have the right to be presumed innocent. You do not have to prove anything. To adjudicate or convict you of the delinquent act or crime charged, the district attorney would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the charges against you.

At a trial, you or your lawyer has the right to cross examine or question the witness that is against you. You have the right to testify or not to testify on your own behalf. No one can force you to testify or not to testify. If you testify, the prosecution will be allowed to cross examine or question you. If you do not testify, the jury will be told that is your right and that nothing bad can be assumed because you did not testify.

You have the right to present evidence on your own behalf. If you have prior felony adjudications or convictions, the prosecution is entitled to ask you about them and then the court and/or jury will know about it. The jury can and will be told to consider your prior record of adjudication or conviction only to decide if you are credible or truthful.

You have the right to subpoena or force witnesses to appear and testify for you. You have the right to appeal to a higher court any decision that was made at the trial.

You may also waive or give up your right to trial and plead guilty. Any plea of guilty must be knowing, voluntary and not the result of undue influence or coercion on the part of anyone, including your parents.

Parents and juveniles are advised at this time, that there is a mandatory restraining order in effect against you until this case is finalized, terminated or until further order of the court. You are ordered to be restrained from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against or tampering with any witness to or victim of the delinquent act or crime charged. If you violate this order, you may be charged with a new crime, punished for contempt of court and sentenced to detention for forty-five (45) days or charged with a violation of a restraining order.

[HMS – Possible sentencing options available to a Judge in Colorado Juvenile Court]

If you are convicted of the charges against you or you plead guilty several things can happen.

You can be placed on formal probation for a period up to two (2) years. As part of probation, you could be sentenced to up to forty-five (45) days in detention and be fined up to $300.00.

If you are out of control of your parents, you can be placed in a group home, foster home, or to the custody of the department of social services as a condition of probation.

You can also be required to be in school full time, and may be ordered to get your G.E.D. and have full time employment.

You can be sentenced to the Department of Youth Corrections, which is prison for kids, for a period up to seven (7) years with minimum mandatory parole.

You can be ordered to pay fines and costs as well as restitution in all your matters.

If you are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time you are sentenced for a delinquent act or crime you can be sentenced to the county jail or community corrections, in some cases for up to two years.

In some circumstances, your case may be transferred to the criminal division of the district court where you may be tried as an adult and subject to adult sentencing guidelines.

You may have the right to petition the court to expunge your records, but a person may file a petition with the court for expungement of his or her record only once during any twelve (12) month period.

Parents need to understand that at least one parent or guardian must be present at all court appearances. Should a parent or guardian fail to appear at all court appearances this court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

Parents also need to understand that pursuant to the protective orders of the court and the sentencing powers of the court you as parents can be ordered into drug and alcohol treatment, individual and family therapy, and other treatment modalities that are deemed appropriate by the court.

Parents also need to understand that the court can order them to complete community service work or attend a parental responsibility program as well as pay restitution in amounts of up to $25,000.

The Colorado Juvenile Court’s “Parent Advisement”

Parents, guardian, or legal custodians need to understand that at least one parent, guardian, or legal custodian must be present at all court appearances.

If the juvenile is in the custody of the Department of Human Services, and the juvenile has a guardian ad litem, the parent, guardian or legal custodian need not be present if the guardian ad litem is at the juvenile’s hearing.

Should a parent or guardian fail to appear at all court appearances, this court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Parents also need to understand that, pursuant to the protective orders of the court and the sentencing powers of the court, you as parents can be ordered into drug and alcohol treatment, individual and family therapy, and other treatment modalities that are deemed appropriate by the court.

Parents also need to understand that the court can order them to complete community service work or attend a parental responsibility program as well as pay restitution in amounts of up to $25,000.

Some Important Background To Understand As To Colorado Juvenile Court

The outcome of a Colorado juvenile criminal prosecution, as in the adult system, will depend on many factors:

  • The seriousness of the offense ( harm to the victim(s)).
  • The child’s age.
  • The child’s past record.
  • The strength of the evidence.
  • The child’s social history, school records, family history and family structure.

Know Your Child’s Rights

The police must have probable cause to search a minor. The same is true to arrest a minor. Probable cause is not a high standard of proof – it means “sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed.”

As noted in the advisement above, a child has the right to remain silent and does NOT have to talk to police without an attorney. This right attaches to BOTH adults and children and is grounded in the 5th Amendment.

A child may be released to his parents or guardian before the so called advisement hearing. But if the child is not released – a Judge CAN deny bail hold your child in detention until he is evaluated and the matter is reviewed in court.

A child in the Colorado Juvenile Justice System has the same right to a lawyer as in the adult system. If you decide to retain a lawyer – find an experienced attorney to defend your child who is “local” to that court. That lawyer will not only know Colorado Juvenile Law – they will know the Judge, the prosecutor and the many people who play a role in the juvenile justice system.

The Right Of The State Of Colorado To Arrest Your Child

A law enforcement officer may take a juvenile into custody when:

Without order of the court there are reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has committed a delinquent act; and

Executing a warrant.

A probation officer may take a juvenile into custody when:

Without order of the court there are reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has committed a delinquent act; and

The juvenile has violated the conditions of his or her probation and is still under the continuing jurisdiction of the court.

An adult other than law enforcement may take the juvenile into custody when:

The juvenile has committed or is committing a delinquent act in the presence of such adult.

Any adult detaining a juvenile shall notify without unnecessary delay, a law enforcement officer, who shall assume custody of the juvenile.

Your Child Is Held In Custody And Not Released – The “Detention” Hearing – How The Juvenile Gets Out Of Jail

Colorado Juvenile Law - When Your Child Is Arrested - What To Do - A Guide For Parents - 1

Detention is a code word for jail in the Colorado Juvenile Justice System. It is a hearing where they walk your child into court, usually shackled and dressed in an orange jumpsuit.

Notification Of The Detention Hearing

When a juvenile is taken into temporary custody screening team has to notify parent that the juvenile is detained and has a right to a prompt hearing.

If the screening team is unable to make the notification, it may be made by any law enforcement officer, juvenile probation officer, detention center counselor, or common jailor in whose physical custody the juvenile is placed.

If the juvenile is in custody the detention hearing must be within forty-eight (48) hours of being in custody.

This time excludes Sat., Sun., and legal holidays.

The forty-eight hour time limit can be extended for a reasonable time by order of the court upon good cause shown.

Hearings to determine probable cause for warrantless arrests must be held within forty-eight (48) hours of arrest. County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44, 56 (U.S. 1991)

If the hearing is not held within forty-eight (48) hours the district attorney must show emergency or extraordinary circumstances.

Weekends do not count as emergencies.

If the district attorney chooses to file a petition in delinquency on any juvenile who receives a detention hearing, he/she shall file said petition within seventy-two hours after the detention hearing.

If any deadlines are not met the juvenile is to be released.

The Information The Colorado Juvenile Judge Uses To Detain – Or – To Release Your Child

When determining if the juvenile should be detained further, the court may hear any information having probative value regardless of admissibility under Colorado Rule of Evidence as well; the court shall consider prior adjudications in the decision.

A Court may choose to detain the juvenile further if it believes from the information provided at the hearing that:

Juvenile’s immediate welfare or protection of the community requires the juvenile to be detained.

There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a juvenile is a danger to himself or herself or to the community if the juvenile is alleged to:

  • The juvenile is alleged to have committed a crime of violence under; or
  • The juvenile alleged to have used/possessed and threatened to use a firearm during the commission of a felony against a person.
  • Is in possession of a dangerous/illegal weapon.
  • Is in possession of a defaced firearm.
  • Is unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon.
  • Concealed A weapon on school grounds.
  • Committed the Crime Of Prohibited use of weapons.
  • Committed the Crime Of Illegally discharging a firearm
  • Committed the Crime Of Illegally possessing a handgun by a juvenile.

If the court orders further detention, the order shall specifically find whether:

Placement of the juvenile out of his or her home would be in the juvenile’s and the community’s best interests; and

Reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate need for removal of the juvenile from the home; or whether such efforts are unnecessary due to the existence of an emergency situation that requires immediate removal of the juvenile from his or her home; or whether such efforts are not required due to (special) circumstances ; and

Whether procedural safeguards to preserve parental rights have been applied in connection with:

The removal of the juvenile from the home; or

Any change in the juvenile’s placement in a community placement; or

Any determination affecting parental visitation of the juvenile.

District Attorney Can Withhold Consent To A Personal Recognizance Bond (PR Bond – or Signature Only Bond) If Certain Crimes Charged

Unless the D.A. consents, no juvenile charged or accused of having committed a delinquent act that constitutes a felony or class (1) misdemeanor shall be released without bond or on a personal recognizance bond if the juvenile:

Has been found guilty of a delinquent act constituting a felony or a class one (1) misdemeanor within one year prior to his/her detention; or

Is currently at liberty on another bond of any time; or

Has a delinquency petition alleging a felony pending in any district or juvenile court for which probable cause has been established.

Options Available To The Colorado Juvenile Court Judge After The Evidence At The Detention Hearing Is Finished.

At the end of the detention hearing the court shall either:

Release the juvenile to the parent/guardian/legal custodian without bond; or

Place the juvenile in a shelter; or

Set bail for the juvenile and have the juvenile be released upon posting of bail.

The Conditions of every bond shall be that the released juvenile;

Shall not commit any delinquent acts; and

Shall not harass, intimidate, or threaten any potential witness; and

May be subject to any conditions the court may set that it feels is necessary for protection of the juvenile and the community.

The Unthinkable – When Your Child Is Beyond Your Control – A Procedure For Re-incarceration – Revoking His Bond

The parent/legal guardian responsible for the juvenile or any other person who secures a personal recognizance bond may petition the court prior to forfeiture or exoneration of the bond, to revoke the bond and remand the juvenile into custody if the parent/legal guardian determines that he/she is unable to control the juvenile.

Set without bail upon a finding that the juvenile is a danger to themselves/community and detain the juvenile.

Set without bail upon a finding that the juvenile is a danger to themselves/community and place the juvenile in a pre-adjudication service program.

Any juvenile who is held without bond, whose bond is revoked, or increased under an order entered at any time after the initial detention hearing, and who remains in custody must be tried on the charges for which the bail is being denied, revoked, or increased after the entry of such an order, or within sixty (60) days after the juvenile’s entry of a pleas, whichever date is earlier, unless a jury trial is requested.

…..

A juvenile can be placed in to an adult holding facility as such as jail, or confinement but only for up to six (6) hours and then must be detained with juveniles.

Some Common Sense Advice For Parents When They “Get The Call”

Above all else at this terrible time – try to remain calm. Confronting or engaging the police can only make things worse- trust me.

This is not the time to argue with the police – and remember this – no matter how “nice” the police are – they are NOT on your side. While there are compassionate and understanding police officers – many act that way to gain your cooperation – only later to use the information gleaned from you against your child in court.

Some clear decisions even without consulting a Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer:

Be Careful About These Issues

  1. Never allow you child to make a statement.
  2. Never make a statement yourself or let anyone in your family speak to the police without consulting a lawyer.
  3. Never let the police search ANYTHING – (without a warrant) this includes homes, vehicles, cell phones (never give them the password).
  4. Never allow your child to “snitch” on anyone involved in a crime. You may think this places the blame on others – but it can, and often does, backfire.
  5. Consider at least conducting a free consultation by phone with a lawyer who is expert in Colorado Juvenile Law.

Colorado Juvenile Law – When Your Child Is Arrested – What To Do – A Guide For Parents

If you found any of the information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the Share buttons for Twitter and Facebook below so that others may also find it.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case.

Colorado Juvenile Criminal Defense LawyerABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277. Attorney H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – and we encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – Colorado Juvenile Law – When Your Child Is Arrested – What To Do – A Guide For Parents.

Summary
Colorado Juvenile Law - When Your Child Is Arrested - What To Do - A Guide For Parents.
Article Name
Colorado Juvenile Law - When Your Child Is Arrested - What To Do - A Guide For Parents.
Description
While being arrested is one of the most traumatic experiences you can go through in life - having your child - son or daughter arrested is a much worse experience. One of the most stressful and debilitating calls a parent ever receives is a call from a sheriff at the jail in the middle of the night.
Author

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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
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